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The Ruling Passion; tales of nature and human nature by Henry Van Dyke
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around outside of reality.

Sometimes it is romantic love: Natures masterpiece of interested
benevolence. In almost all lives this passion has its season of
empire. Therefore, and rightly, it is the favourite theme of the
storyteller. Romantic love interests almost everybody, because
almost everybody knows something about it, or would like to know.

But there are other passions, no less real, which also have their
place and power in human life. Some of them come earlier, and
sometimes they last longer, than romantic love. They play alongside
of it and are mixed up with it, now checking it, now advancing its
flow and tingeing it with their own colour.

Just because love is so universal, it is often to one of the other
passions that we must look for the distinctive hue, the individual
quality of a life-story. Granted, if you will, that everybody must
fall in love, or ought to fall in love, How will he do it? And what
will he do afterwards? These are questions not without interest to
one who watches the human drama as a friend. The answers depend
upon those hidden and durable desires, affections, and impulses to
which men and women give themselves up for rule and guidance.

Music, nature, children, honour, strife, revenge, money, pride,
friendship, loyalty, duty,--to these objects and others like them
the secret power of personal passion often turns, and the life
unconsciously follows it, as the tides in the sea follow the moon in
the sky.

When circumstances cross the ruling passion, when rocks lie in the
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